Which SAT Subject Tests Should I Take?

SAT Subject Tests are exams offered by The College Board that further illustrate to potential colleges and universities what you bring to the table. With 20 tests in five different subject areas, it’s key to select the SAT Subject Tests that best reflect your strengths by examining criteria such as what courses you have taken or are currently enrolled in, knowing what your potential major might be, and identifying schools of interest. 

Choose SAT Subject Tests based on your course schedule

Technically, you can take an SAT Subject Test at any point in your high school career. However, it’s key to be strategic about what tests you take and when you take them. For instance, if you are doing well in French 4 or Spanish 4, taking the corresponding subject test may be a great decision. On the other hand, it would likely be unwise to take Mathematics Level 2 as a freshman.

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Examine what your schools of interest require when selecting SAT Subject Tests

Have you started compiling a list of schools that you’re interested in? If so, visit their websites and make note of any SAT Subject Test requirements. Some schools may require one or two exams, while others may not require them at all. Even if a college or university doesn’t require SAT Subject Tests, a great score on them could help your application stand out. It’s important to be aware of these requirements during the college application process so that you don’t have to cram in any last-minute testing.

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Choose the right SAT Subject Tests by identifying your potential major

If you’re thinking about a particular major, it might be a great decision to take SAT Subject Tests that reflect that specific area. Chances are, if you’re leaning toward a certain major, your strengths and interests lie in that subject area. Use this to your advantage, and take an exam in that niche. For example:

  • If you’re interested in studying engineering in college, determine if Mathematics Level 1 or Mathematics Level 2 best shows your strengths. 
  • If you’re hoping to study biology in college, register for the Biology E/M Subject Test.  

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Since these tests allow you some freedom of choice, select wisely. The exams are a great opportunity for you to show schools what you are interested in and familiar with, and just how well you know the material. Examine your strengths, and identify which SAT Subject Tests will best support your application.


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